Calgary based grocery store Calgary Co-op, will soon be selling cannabis.

Co-op's Senior Director Of Cannabis Jim Riege says Co-op aims to sell all available strains of cannabis, along with accessories.

"There's approximately three hundred skews, that they (The AGLC) will have available for any retail store to buy, and our goal is to carry all those varieties."

Riege says, cannabis sales are strictly governed by the AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission), which determines rulings for retail stores, and what varieties may be sold.

"For instance, unlike liquor stores which minors can enter so long as they are accompanied by an adult, our stand-alone cannabis centers will not allow anyone under the age of eighteen to enter. We will be checking for I.D. for anyone who appears to be under the age of forty."

Riege anticipates some excitement when legalization takes effect in October, aiming to have Co-ops first cannabis retail location open by that date.

He say's there's been some mixed reaction among existing Co-op customers.

"We surveyed customers before making this large-scale decision, there are plenty of customers who are interested to buy this product from us, that being said there are plenty existing customers who will not, and don't think cannabis should be sold at all. Our feedback shows voices from both sides of the fence."

In all, Co-op has obtained twelve separate licenses, and Riege says, while it's not a certainty, they hope to have their first operation ready to go for October to meet the hype of legalization.

"We do expect to have lots of excitement around the store, because we don't expect too many stores will be ready to open for October 17. So there won't be a lot of opportunity for customers and members to purchase in many places in Calgary."

Riege also confirmed cannabis purchases, will be eligible for patronage membership refunds, just like groceries, liquor and gas.

Riege says at this time there are no plans to open a cannabis location in either High River or Okotoks.


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